We are also offering limited 1/2 hour shopping appointments in the store from 3pm to 4:30 pm daily, In order to do this under the new regulations, we are limiting to one employee and one customer in the store. These appointments are for those intending to make $200+ purchases, and this will also be the procedure for trades. Call in advance at 860-379-1952, and please make sure to wear some sort of face covering.
Website and Phone Orders get free shipping at $50. Please take advantage and we will ship same day
We will not be issuing fishing licenses during the closure to comply with the new rules, so make sure to purchase one in advance online by clicking on this link. If you don't have a printer, it's perfectly acceptable to keep your license on your mobile/smart phone nowadays.
-Grady & Torrey
Farmington River Report
Top pic is a handful of pretty brown trout by Darren Yoos. 2nd down is Will Coleman's hand holding 21.5" of Farmington River trout! 3rd pic is Steve Hogan and a finned friend, and the 4th fish pic down is a customer John LeFeber with a hefty rainbow.
Flow remains elevated due to an increase in the dam release since Monday, but we are still most definitely quite fishable. Those adapting to the conditions continue to make good to excellent catches, Higher flows typically push trout closer to the banks, out of the heavier current. Inside turns, spots where the river goes from narrow to wider, and behind objects (big rocks, downed trees, etc.) will all provide shelter from the current and hold trout. Start in close & work your way out so as not to spook the fish holding near shore, that's a classic mistake I see anglers make constantly when flows are up. You can also upsize your subsurface flies a bit, and use heavier tippet. "Junk Flies" (Mops, Squirmy Worms, Egg Flies, and Green Weenies) tend to be at their best in elevated flows, doubly so if you are fishing for recently stocked fish. Bigger trout often come out to play in higher flows.
|BMAR Hendrickon Nymph|
The Hendrickson hatch is at least as far upriver as the Campground now (likely even further upstream now), look for the upper boundary to move upstream a bit on a near daily basis. It typically starts at 2-3pm and goes until late afternoon, but none of that is set in stone. Soon we should be seeing spinner falls on milder days that aren't windy or rainy. Starting as early as 2pm and also mixed in with Hendricksons have been hatches of Blue Wing Olives (sz 18), and Winter/Summer Caddis (sz 20-22, more of a morning hatch), Midges #22-28, and a few Blue Quills/Paraleps (sz 16-18) have also been making appearances.
Recently stocked trout often prefer gaudy flies that don't match the hatch, and "Junk Flies" (Mops, Eggs, Worms, and Green Weenies) often reign supreme and outfish normal drabber, more imitative nymphs that we fish most of the time. And sometimes recent intros will prefer a fly that moves or drags in the current, not a dead-dirft presentation, so let your nymphs, streamers & wets swing out at the end of each drift & try twitching them. But, once the trout have been in the river for 3-4 weeks they become attuned to natural food and will start to prefer drabber flies fished on a dead-drift (mostly, with plenty of exceptions). Fishing pressure will also teach them to be suspicious of commonly fished flies. Buggers can be deadly on recently stocked trout- start with olive or black and go from there if you don't get a positive reaction. Also experiment with your retrieve, and try a plain swing with no added action if stripping it in doesn't get a response.
Specific imitations such as the BMAR Hendrickson nymph as well as other brownish Mayfly type nymphs #12-14 are working well throughout the entire river as they imitate the Hendrickson nymph. It can be a specific imitation, but it doesn't necessarily need to be (think GISS- general impression of size & shape)). It can be something brown with a Mayfly shape such as a Pheasant Tail/Quasimodo Pheasnant Tail, Frenchie (basically just a PT with a hot spot), a dark colored Hare's Ear, etc.
Nymphs #12-18 imitating or suggesting Hendrickson nymphs, Blue Wing Olives/Baetis, Blue Quills (Paraleps), and Caddis Larva (regular olive/green #14-16 & cased #10-14) have all had their moments. Also try attractor patterns (gaudy flies with hot spots, flash, UV materials, or unusual colors), sometimes they will outfish the usual drabber flies. It can be worth trying bigger #6-10 nymphs such as Stoneflies & Mops too- larger nymphs sometimes interest larger trout (more calories in a single bite, just like with streamers). Remember that GISS (general impression of size & shape) is far more important than having an exact imitation, and sometimes exaggerated features like a hot spot or flash gets their attention better than a "perfect" drabber imitation. Trout perceive our imitations differently than us humans do, so what looks good to YOU isn't necessarily what the trout prefer. We'd be lucky to catch any trout at all if our flies truly had to look just like the natural insects. If your fly size & shape/profile are close to the natural bugs, and the color is ballpark, all you then need is to put it in front of a willing trout with a good presentation. I've caught more trout than I can count during Hendrickson hatches on #12-14 Pheasant Tails & Frenchies. The shape (tails, slimmer abdomen, thicker thorax), color (brown) and size match up to the real bug. I've caught many a rising trout during a Hendrickson hatch on a #12-14 Parachute Adams after they refused a dozen different dun, emerger, cripple & spinner patterns.
In addition to the Hendrickson hatch, we are seeing #16-18 Blue Wing Olives (BWOs)/Baetis & Midges in the afternoons in the permanent TMA/Catch & Release. Think about fishing a smaller nymph that looks like BWOs (#16-18, slim, olive to olive-brown to brown). They have been rising to bugs in some spots in the afternoons, so have the matching dries/emergers. There are still some Early Stones around (black, brown), as well as the Winter/Summer Caddis & Midges. If you see splashy rises, that is probably either Caddis or Stoneflies. Gentle sips are more typical of trout feeding on BWOs & Midges.
Streamer fishing has really picked up, and lately black or olive have been top colors, but I'm also a fan of brown this time of year, and white can be very good also- experiment! Two tone streamers such a brown/yellow, olive/yellow, etc. can sometimes be the ticket. Try the following hybrid rig: a weighted streamer such as a conehead Bugger, Complex Twist Bugger, Zuddler, Slumpbuster, etc. with a #14-16 soft-hackle, wet fly or nymph trailed 14-18" of the hook bend- the streamer often functions as the attractor, and then the trout eat the trailing smaller fly. This helps turn some of those chases, rolls & flashes into a solid hook-up.
We got in a pile of flies from Fulling Mill & Umpqua recently, including some cool streamers we haven't carried before, check out Tommy Lynch's deadly D&D that swims like a Flatfish lure- fish it on a sink-tip/sinking leader/sinking line to get this unweighted pattern to the proper depth, the action/movement on this fly is INSANE. Weighted streamers like Woolly Buggers, Zuddlers, Slumpbusters, and Complex Twist Buggers all continue to produce fish if fished down deep. Try also streamers with Sculpin Helmets, bounced & twitched along the bottom on a floating line- deadly on bigger trout. Play with colors, fly size, pattern style, retrieve, depth, and cover lots of water and you should be able to find success.
If you are fishing wets/soft-hackles, try a 2-3 fly rig, on tag end droppers about 24-30" apart, and use a lightly to moderately weighted soft-hackle or nymph on the point position to get your rig down deeper where the trout are. During hatching activity where you see bugs and occasional rising trout, keep all your flies unweighted and fish near the surface. Throw across & slightly upstream and make an upstream mend to sink your flies, let them dead-drift (watch your fly line tip for subtle strikes), and then let them do the traditional wet fly swing- expect strikes especially at the 3/4 downstream point when your flies rise toward the surface. At the end of the drift let them dangle for several seconds, then twitch them up & down a couple of times. Add some slight rod tip twitches during some drifts, and on others just let them drift. Keep your rod tip up around 10 o'clock during the entire drift for tippet protection, and better hook-ups- this creates very slight controlled slack you need so trout can inhale your fly and not short strike it. This technique is great for covering riffle & pool water where the trout are spread out and can be anywhere, the kind of water that can be difficult/challenging to nymph.
Current Store Hours:
8am-5pm Monday through Friday, and 8am-5pm on weekends, "curbside pick up" only. Call 860-379-1952 to place orders or have us put together your order for pick-up.
The Farmington is currently somewhat high but absolutely fishable at 698cfs through the Catch & Release (C&R) area and running in the mid/upper 40s for temperature in the afternoon- USGS historical normal flow for today is 494cfs. Riverton is 465cfs, and the Still River is adding in an additional 233cfs. 8am Riverton water temp was 44 degrees this morning, and it reached 45.5 degrees in late afternoon Thursday- downstream water temps in the C&R will be higher than this on milder/sunny days due to the Still River running warmer than the water from the dam.
Cortland's brand spankin' new Nymph Series Rods for Euro Nymphing are in stock. This series is all in a 10.5' length and three line weights: #2, #3, and #4, and retails at $299.99. These replace the extremely popular Competition Nymph Series. We have fished the new version in the 10.5' #3 model, and they are a noticeable improvement with a crisper action, faster recovery, more sensitivity, a downlocking reel seat for better rod/reel balance, and improved guide spacing to minimize line sag between the reel and the stripping (first) guide. The new construction also significantly improves the durability, and they maintained the stealthy matte finish to minimize rod flash on sunny days. You won't need a heavy reel to balance these either. I'm sure the #3 will be the best seller and it is the most versatile for all around Euro Nymphing, but the 2 weight is sweet with a soft tip that will protect 6x-7x tippet on big fish, and the #4 has the power to handle heavier tippets with bigger flies on bigger fish and can cross over as an Indicator nymphing rod too. This series looks like a real winner to us, and the best under $300 Euro rod on the market hands-down.
Thomas & Thomas's new Contact 10' #3 feels awesome in the hand, and it's a more portable length than it's longer brothers. Due to it being shorter than its 10' 8" & 11' 3" cousins, it has a crisper action that make it a very good choice for someone who likes to Euro nymph, but also likes to cross over and throw fly line with dries, wets, and small/medium streamers. Also good on smaller waters where the casting is restricted.